Retro Review: Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro, HD Camera Symbian Smartphone
This was a smartphone released in 2010, making it almost a decade old and along with the vivaz, the vivaz pro, which simply has a slide out. Qwerty keyboard were two of the first phones in the market to have HD video recording capabilities and marked a step forwards from mobile photography. In fact, the vive and vivaz pro even have a separate video taking key that could launch into recording video and begin recording video instantly, regardless of whatever application you’re in and there’s, also a separate key to launch into the camera just for taking still images the Vaughn Controls can also act as digital zoom, so it overall has the ergonomics of a point and shoot camera. Otherwise the phone is kind of interesting because it was one of the last devices really the last hurrah by Sony and Nokia to run on Symbian OS version s60 5th edition before Android basically took over. Even in 2009, 2010 Symbian was beginning to show its age, especially since this phone still used a resistive touchscreen. That requires quite a bit of pressure to tap and press as opposed to a capacitive screen that was made out of glass like on the iPhone and newer Android devices. Otherwise, the phone is made predominantly out of plastic, so it is very much lightweight and the biggest shock is really how much larger phones have gotten. This thing feels tiny against a regular 6 inch phone from 2019. It looks like a toy by comparison.
The rear also features an LED flash, and also here is where the power key is located. Also, you can tap on this to lock and unlock the display so kind of like LG’s phones. It made it a little more ergonomic to press without putting onto the sides of the phone. On the other side, we have access to a micro, USB port for charging, a standard, 3.5 millimeter, headphone jack and a lanyard strap. The phone is etched in chrome and has a slight curved: the rear, which went inline with Sony’s kind of human centric design back in the day that made it conform to the shape of your hand as you are holding it, making. It feel like a pebble in a way sony is kind of coming back to this design language by the way, with their latest generation of Android phones, so it’s interesting. How designs sometimes can repeat just like fashion trends. Now this phone did not have a front facing camera of any sort, but it does have a proxy the daylight sensor. There is built in Wi, Fi, there’s, built in a GPS and Bluetooth and supports 3G bands, and down below here we have three hard keys, which are backless that you can use to answer, reject phone calls and open up the main menu for navigating the handset. Now, if we slide open the QWERTY keyboard, we see it’s a four row layout, which is relatively spacious and comfortable to type on the keys themselves, have an island or chiclet style layout to them and have a good responsiveness to them.
Overall, the keys are also backlit by the way, which makes them pretty easy to see, especially in the dark and also adds a pretty futuristic touch. Now, if we take a closer look at the UI experience, it’s exactly the same as other Symbian phones that Sony released around this era had the same site customization. On top of the platform that Sony did like this live wallpaper that you could tilt and the water kind of flowed, depending on how he held it as well as some widgets and Sony’s emphasis was on social media as well. He had a separate page dedicated to Twitter and other web links, it’s the same interface that we saw on the sony, ericsson satya, so not too much has changed here. I can swipe over to take a look at some shortcuts to access the web browser. The other kind of tap here is used to access Twitter, a separate screen just for that. The phone does have haptic vibration by the way, so it slightly buzzes whenever you tap on the screen to give you a physical registration or sensation. With that being said, it’s definitely a pretty weak vibration motor compared to the haptic engines of modern phones, whew. A lot more responsive, anyways there’s, another widget here just dedicated for camera images that you take and you can cycle back and forth between them works quite well and then the last tab over is for shortcuts to other applications like YouTube.
Facebook, whatever you want to customize, can be added along over there. Now we can also jump directly back and forth between these pages and, if I tap on this, enter key here that’s, what takes me into the full list of applications now other things we can take a look at include applications and includes a built in radio, and We also have some chat services onboard. The really interesting thing here. That’S showing its age is Symbian does not have kinetic scrolling, so I can’t just swipe up and down across a list and it simply doesn’t work. You have to literally go to the last row that you’re looking at and hold for a few seconds for it to move down more through a longer list, so it’s not very intuitive at all, or have to rely on this tiny little slider using your fingers to Try and go up and down through a longer list, so the UI experience is definitely archaic by today’s standards. Still, we have quite a few applications. We have access to a Facebook, widget there’s, also a QR code scanner called Neal reader built on in which is pretty interesting, there’s a YouTube client that’s, basically accessing the mobile site of YouTube there’s. Some demo versions of games like bubble breaker, which are still working and block breaker, that you can tap on and it will load. Of course, the selection of games and applications would be one reason where Android and iOS triumphs in the end.
Symbian does have a catalog of app, so you can download, but there really isn’t a cohesive app store, but so overall can still be kind of fun, a nostalgic in a sense to play around with now. If we exit out of this as a forum for mention, regardless of whatever application you’re in you, can launch into the camera just by simply tapping on the side, keys or record video. So if we tap on the camera here, you can see it would instantly jump into that interface there’s, not a lot of built in storage at all. So you definitely need a micro SD card which you can add behind the battery cover to expand on the storage. Other things you can adjust include the Evi. You can change the focus, the scene, selection and some basic things like that, but there are no real kind of fancy. Additional controls that you get aside from really the scenes. There’S no HDR either, but overall it’s still pretty easy to use. If I wanted to take a quick image here, maybe of this colorful box, we can simply tap on it for a few seconds and otherwise it can snap on the shot to view back some of those content. We can tap on the media folder and from here we have an interface that’s again very much customized by Sony similar to their PlayStation devices. Back in the day, like the PSP we’re able to see the photos, we’ve taken the music and the video content that we have on our phone, so, for example, if we take a look at our pictures here, you can see some sample images wallpapers that we can Kind of play around with again there is no multi touch because it’s a resistive touchscreen, and otherwise it is fairly colorful and it is an IPS display.
So you can see here that the viewing angles are actually pretty good for a phone from 10 years ago. Not a bad quality display overall I’d say considering it’s, pretty small and, as such, still fairly colorful and sharp looking. We can sort through images we’ve taken by different folders and also by different dates. So the overall way of navigating is actually a bit more advanced than you. That you’d expect from a device from again ten years ago, and we have the accelerometer that we can use to tilt the phone over and take a closer look at the details. Within the shot under the location folder, we can have access to Google Maps using the built in GPS and wise pilot, both of which still work alright, I’d, say there’s. Some basic calculator functions onboard here, allow you to add appointments and notifications, which you can sync up through email and tapping on organizer. You can take a look at additional utility tools like an alarm clock. This is what the application looks like. So the UI is still slightly better than what I expected as far as how it’s aged there’s also access to a quick Google search. You can also access a quick converter tool. A very basic calculator can be found here. We also have access to a basic PDF, Reader and Quick Office for viewing back a Word Excel and PowerPoint documents when on the go, that’s meant for productivity. If I want to use the screen, I can use handwriting recognition instead of a kind of keyboard per se, or I can tap on the keyboard input here to have a mini, QWERTY keyboard.
This is a super cramped by today’s standards. As you can see there, there is multitasking on Symbian as well. You can tap and hold on the middle key for a few seconds to take a look at your list of currently running applications and then shop and jump back and forth between them. So it’s a for the most part it’s still more usable than I was expecting and taking a look back at it and, of course, there’s just simply the dialer pad, if you want to make phone calls pretty standard stuff. Finally, taking a look at the web browsing performance, the surprising thing is, it still will open up certain sites. Basic ones like Wikipedia or Google searches will still work in decent speed if you’re connected using Wi Fi. So Wi Fi was a pretty advanced feature almost a decade ago and on a phone like this, which, at the time, Sony wasn’t really marketing it as a premium flagship phone again, Symbian was starting to go on the way out, even back then so, compared to some Of the other Android offerings, it was still priced pretty affordably, especially on a TN t ‘s network here in the United States about 100 or so so as a result, it’s a brought that Internet connectivity Wi Fi at a relatively low price tag. So if we do a quick search, for example, Sony and maybe Sony vivos, we can take a quick look at how it handles out using Google and we can flip over and tap on search and again we were connected using Wi Fi right now, but the speed Is actually very much reasonable, we can slide down and the loading speeds are not too bad at all.
If you download a more modern browser like Opera Mini, for example, you can get it working with more sites, because, right now the included one out of the box is very much out of date. So a lots of certificates are no longer trusted and as a results, if you try and open up more complex pages, they’ll tell you it can’t open it or the memory is too low and the page will crash I’ll also point out about all the applications which Are running in the background have a slight ring to them on Symbian OS, so you know that they are open in the background and surprisingly, forefront has under 1gb of ram only 256 megabytes it’s actually doing a decent job of still holding up all right. As far as the UI is concerned, as we are playing around with it so that’s more us it’s as far as our throwback look at the sony, ericsson vivaz pro here in 2019, we’ve come a long way, not really fun, that’s usable by 2019 standards. I say it’s, just the app support is very much lacking and we’ve definitely come a long way as far as the UI navigation and making things understandable is concerned and played its role in the evolution of smartphone cameras just getting progressively better and better. Nowadays, the cameras in our pockets being almost good enough to rival dedicated units for just quick point and shoot instances.